Focus Groups / Consumer Workshops
We use the group dynamic of Focus Groups to create engaging, insightful and thoughtful conversations.
Creating meaningful dialogues between Companies and Customers.
Our team uses a variety of established and breakthrough methods to deliver actionable insights.
We use the group dynamic of Focus Groups to create engaging, insightful and thoughtful conversations. Our consumer workshops are moderator-led discussions among a group of individuals who share a need, habit, or life circumstance relevant to the research issue(s) at hand. Typically one to two hours in length, a focus group discussion often includes from two to ten respondents. In our Focus Group sessions Canova Research applies a fresh approach to consumer exploration, creative testing, new product development and concept optimization.
Sometimes insights are best gleaned when you accompany shoppers in stores. It’s the best way to truly understand what really goes through the mind of the shopper during the shopping / purchase process. Shopalongs are a great way to explore the perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes in real time and in the context of the real-world environment.
There’s nothing like talking to consumers in their own homes, regardless of the category, to get deep insights. Ethnographies are interviews that take place in the natural setting and under the typical circumstances where participants engage with a given product, service, or activity. Observing what people do, not just what they say, results in a holistic view of the product, service, or activity in the larger context of the participant’s world. Ethnographies are particularly helpful for understanding consumer behavior, usage patterns, and purchase and decision-making processes. We often videotape Ethnographies and edit relevant footage into presentations that highlight key research findings.
Online Focus Groups are comprised of participants from the target interest group who log on to our special research software platform at a pre-arranged time. During online discussions, participants interact with each other, as well as the moderator, in real time to generate deeper insights about the topic. Key benefits of online focus groups are:
We conduct structured, one-on-one or friends/ family interviews to focus on individual responses and reactions. These are particularly useful for hard-to-reach audiences, like business executives, or for sensitive subject matter like certain healthcare topics.
Conducted over a period of time rather than in real time, the Online Bulletin Board Research Methodology allows participants to take more time to formulate answers, resulting in a richness of information and insights not always accessible in real-time methodologies. Furthermore, respondents enjoy the convenience of being able to log in and complete research assignments when it is convenient for them. Online Bulletin Boards encourage in-depth exploration of topics, on-going product or service evaluation, and brainstorming of ideas.
Our Bulletin Boards are typically held as multi-day sessions (roughly 3-5 days) during which participants answer questions posted by a moderator and respond to comments posted by other participants. The full discussion is visible to the moderator and participants, as well as to client observers who can watch from a virtual back room. It is possible to embed stimuli such as photos or video to elicit feedback.
Canova Research is a full-service Qualitative Research & Strategy Company that provides its clients with unique insights that motivate their existing and potential customers to take action.
Creative Development Research exposes existing and potential customers to communication concepts (TV, Print, Web, Out of Home –Billboard) and is designed to understand and explore the appeal and key interest drivers among the target demographic. Thus, this type of research represents an exciting opportunity to really understand consumers’ motivations, how they think and feel about the creative messaging, and factors that could make an impact and improve future messaging to this market. Its value lies in understanding why consumers feel the way they do in order to better determine what advertising can do to make the messaging more impactful and meaningful to the target audience. Our distinct Creative Development Research methods foster and encourage a collaborative effort with the agency’s creative team, which ultimately results in breakthrough communication that really connects and motivates the end user.
Packaging is the last opportunity to influence consumers, and the best chance to sell a product. Good design can capture shoppers’ attention, communicate brand values, convey product benefits, and win hearts. It demands a design process with consumer perceptions at the core of it all. The better the package design and copy, the greater the likelihood that consumers will choose the brand. Our Packaging Design Research inspires, informs and guides design projects, so your packaging—and product—break through the clutter, ultimately leading to increases in sales.
Product Testing is one of the most important types of research any company ever conducts. Achieving clear-cut product superiority in a category is the surest way to build brand share, engender customer loyalty, and boost profitability. In our ever-changing world, consumer tastes are a moving target as they evolve over time. Successful companies continually “take the pulse” of the end user and the market, and capitalize on that insight and understanding. Let our New Product Development Research give you the wisdom to make sure your product launches take off.
Our UX sessions allow companies to observe first-hand as consumers interact with their website, app or interactive media. During UX sessions we assess overall ease of use, architecture and navigational flow, content, look and feel, brand image, brand fit, and positioning. Our UX Research provides insight into current usage patterns, unmet wants and needs, satisfaction levels, and most importantly, opportunities for improving the online and overall user experience.
Successful brands understand the importance of creating a relevant, unique and motivating foundation from which all communication is created. Our Brand Positioning Research identifies the best way to gain a place in the consumer’s mind that really connects and is emotionally compelling. We explore consumers’ emotional and rational needs, motivations and barriers, teasing apart the conscious rationales and subconscious drivers in order to identify the optimal strategies to reach and motivate them. Perfect for both established brands and brands in their infancy, our Brand Positioning Research identifies opportunities to lay the foundation for creating a strong rapport with your end user.
We are passionate about Qualitative Research & Strategy and deliver actionable marketing insights and research results to a diverse group of clients and categories.
Meet our team. In addition to being Qualitative Research & Strategy experts, they are some of the nicest people you are likely to meet:
Principal / Founder
Senior Strategist and Moderator
Ethnography Videographer / Filmmaker
John specializes in creating meaningful dialogues between brands and their customers. Well versed in a myriad of methodologies such as traditional focus groups, in-depth-interviews and ethnography/videography studies, John has moderated well over 850 Qualitative Research sessions during the course of his career.
He has been hired by some of the worlds most dynamic brands such as: XFINITY, Corona Beer, Adidas, The American Cancer Society, Kellogg’s, Jockey, Kaiser Permanente, Heinz, Domino’s Pizza, Hershey’s, Mass Mutual and Clorox to name a few. He has also had the opportunity to partner with leading advertising agencies such as: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Leo Burnett, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, GSD&M, Digitas, Cramer–Kasselt and Mullen.
John is a member of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA). He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Sociology, and routinely returns as a guest lecturer in the Marketing Department for the CU Leeds School of Business. When not working, you will find John on the ski hill or mountain bike trail, trying to keep up with his wife and two daughters.
Contact John at: email@example.com
Rebecca spent the past 20+ years as a brand strategist and qualitative detective.
The first half of her career was spent in the ad agency trenches informing and inspiring strategic and creative direction as a brand/account planner at several Minneapolis shops of all sizes. She served a range of accounts, including Dominos Pizza, General Mills, Alberto Culver, Dow Brands and DuPont. Rebecca finds great satisfaction from successfully providing strategically driven consumer interactions for agency and corporate clients.
Rebecca’s genuine curiosity about why people do what they do, coupled with an educational background in both communications and psychology, enables her to dig beyond the obvious to pinpoint what connects and engages people with a brand or organization.
Amy Mechels has an extensive background in market research and strategic planning. With Masters degrees in both business and psychology, she has a deep understanding of how both people – and companies – work, which is a real asset to any project.
Amy started her career in product management for a variety of consumer products companies. Eventually, however, her avid interest in consumer behavior took over, and she pursued the path of a strategist. She delights in the broad diversity of projects and consumers her career exposes her to. Past brands and clients include Corona, Kellogg’s, Annie’s Organics, Coca Cola, Walgreens, Kaiser Permanente, Starbucks, Curves, Adidas, Office Max, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Columbia Sportswear, the University of Arkansas and Altos Tequila.
Amy graduated from Connecticut College with degrees in English and Studio Art. She has masters from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management (MBA) and Naropa University (Psychology). Her passions include climbing the hills of Boulder on her road bike, entertaining her friends, and parenting her two wonderful children.
Buck Ross is our go to guy, when it comes time to add additional texture to our project deliverables and bring our respondents to life through the use of video. Ross has produced, shot and edited everything from IMAX® films, to focus group sessions on six different continents. He has completed projects for some of the worlds most dynamic brands such as Coke, Apple and Adidas. Buck takes hours of focus group, in-depth interview, shop-along and ethnography sessions and crafts them into visually beautiful and revealing stories that help our clients truly understand their customers.
Over the course of his illustrious career, he helped start the first ever Adventure Film School in the country, produced a malaria documentary in Africa, shot IMAX film on Mount Everest, hosted a regional travel TV show and continued to fall more and more in love with the creative process of filmmaking and storytelling.
Courtney’s interest in consumer behavior stems from a genuine enthusiasm for people and their stories. It was in the midst of her Master’s degree in journalism at the University of Colorado that she became fascinated with the market research field.
Today, Courtney brings the analytic mindset and objectivity of a journalist to her work in brand management and creative and strategic planning. Her insights and recommendations are founded on a quest for the truth and concentrate on bringing the authentic voice of the consumer to light. She’s had the opportunity to work alongside clients and brands such as XFINITY, Crown Imports, Columbia Sportswear, Kaiser Permanente, eBay and Bank of America.
Courtney has degrees in English, Business and French, in addition to her Master’s in Journalism. When not in the office, Courtney loves to be outside with her husband, whether road biking, mountain biking, running or backcountry skiing.
Canova Research has had the privilege to work with the following clients:
""I’ve had the privilege of working with Canova Research on several projects over the years and couldn’t be happier with the results. Canova Research does an amazing job of managing a project from start to finish no matter how complicated or unorthodox it may be. Time and time again they have delivered compelling consumer insights and actionable recommendations. The Merchandising and Product teams I work with are always extremely happy the with findings and detailed reporting – working with Canova Research makes my job a whole lot easier!"
adidas AG-Global Market Research
"“Canova Research consistently delivers consumer insights and actionable recommendations assisting both Kellogg’s and our agency partners to deliver “best in class” advertising, positioning, and innovation.”
Kellogg’s-Senior Manager, Market Research
"“Canova Research developed a really creative approach to diving into our business issues, and then helped to turn the information gathered into compelling insights.”
Gap Inc. -Consumer Insights
"“When he’s in the focus group room, John puts everyone at ease – the respondents and the clients. He rolls up his sleeves, moves around, and gets everyone talking. And his detailed reports help us make the right decisions.”
Vice President, Campbell Mithun Chicago-Director, Strategic Planning and Research
"“Canova Research did a terrific job with our “non-traditional” research project. I feel that John was very intuitive and his questions were thought provoking. Research participants found him easy to talk to and informed about process. Importantly, his results were very thorough, insightful and helpful in moving our organization forward.”
Kelloggs-Seven Worldwide Advertising & Design